I don’t care if I don’t reach my deadline for the June #PitMad, I can query later, when this novel is ready.

There is so much in my heart and on my mind, that it has become crowded. It is taking me longer to write and edit, than when I initially started. That is okay.

Today is my parents anniversary, and they don’t feel like celebrating.

The air is heavy. Change needs to happen.

These conversations cannot go away after things stop “trending” on social media. We cannot be silent.

I am the product of an interracial marriage. I am a POC. I am not going to stop educating people, or sharing my stories. I am not going to stop amplifying the voices of POC in my community, and in my country.

This is not about black or white, this is about right and wrong. This is about justice. This about feeling safe.

I have noticed a large portion of the writing community has chosen to remain silent, and that is their choice. I will not condemn them for that, but those who have been silent on their platforms, I want to you think about why. Are doing writer lifts and shameless self promo’s really more important than the lives of your fellow human beings?

Even if you have a smaller platform, it can still be used for good.

Go out and educate yourself. Educate your friends.

Help heal the deep wounds created by years of oppression.

Book Talk Episode 9: Writing Children

I absolutely adore my younger characters. They make me smile and laugh…and they’re incredibly cute. I think having young children in my series, really helps to balance my main characters. When my one character interacts with his five year old nephew, he acts very differently than when he’s around his friends or co-workers. He’s a little more laid back.

In real life we often alter ourselves slightly, depending on who we are with. It’s the old, “know your audience” thing, that we aren’t always aware of in our day to day. I’m still me, but I reveal different aspects of myself to different people.

We act differently when we’re with our boss, a friend, a stranger or a family member. The same also applies with when we interact with people in different age groups, or even how we act around animals.

I like using this in my writing.

My one character acts differently when she’s with her younger brothers who are 10 and 5, than when she’s around people the same age as her or older. She can go from goofing around with her siblings to having to take on the “big sister” role, and lecture them about their behaviour.

Another character of mine isn’t used to being around children, so they find themselves constantly having to keep themselves in check when a child is present. They don’t feel comfortable being their most authentic self, because they don’t want to accidentally do or say anything inappropriate in front of the younger characters.

I think that having all of these different characters interacting with one another, is really fun and allows you to really explore voice and dialogue.

I also use my niece and other children I’ve worked with in the past as a model for how my younger characters express themselves.

How does a 5 year old express feelings of frustration versus how an adult would? They don’t usually hide how they are feeling. Sometimes they’ll go off and sit by themselves and sulk, with their arms crossed, letting out constant sighs and groans so that everyone knows they’re upset. Other times, they’ll tell you, loud and clear.

It really is interesting to explore, and I think that it balances out my older characters.